Rheumatoid factor (RF) is a protein that was created by your immune system that can attack healthy tissue in your body. With high levels of rheumatoid factor in the human blood, it could lead to autoimmune diseases particularly rheumatoid factor.
What is it?
Rheumatoid factor (RF) [a.k.a. Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor] is a protein that was formed by the immune system that could attack healthy tissue in your body. Having a high level of rheumatoid factor in the blood could lead to an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren’s syndrome.
Most people would have a normal level of rheumatoid factor even though they might be healthy which indicates that people may have a risk for an autoimmune disease. The most common autoimmune disease that they may have is Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome, though there are other disease that may occur if there is a high level of RF including hepatitis, leukemia, influenza and more.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition which means that it is caused by the immune system that is attacking the healthy body tissue. Though there are no known reasons why it could trigger.
The immune system is purposely functioned to make antibodies that attacks bacteria and viruses to prevent infection, it does not purposely function to attack the healthy body tissue. With the rheumatoid arthritis attacking the tissue that surrounds the joints such as the bones and ligaments, it may cause joints to become sore and inflamed. If it is not treated, the joint may be destroyed or lose it shape and alignment
There are only 3 possible risk factors that may develop rheumatoid arthritis which is:
How to Identify?
First, they’ll ask about your symptoms and medical history. They’ll also perform a physical exam of your joints. This will include:
- looking for swelling and redness
- examining joint function and range of motion
- touching the affected joints to check for warmth and tenderness
- testing your reflexes and muscle strength
Symptoms that commonly occur if someone suffer from rheumatoid arthritis is listed down below
- Joint Stiffness: Certain joints may not be able to bend or move. Stiffness like this may worsen in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Increased joint pain and Stiffness in the morning: it is a pain that is throbbing and aching that happens in the joints. It worsens in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Nodules under the skin: Joints may swell, become hot or inflamed
There are other additional symptoms that does not affect the joints which includes lack of energy, sweating, loss of appetite and weight loss.
What to Do?
There’s no cure for RA, but there are treatments that can help you manage it.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can keep both patients and physicians on their toes as they figure out the best ways to treat the symptoms and slow the progression of the condition.
Recently, advances in treatment strategies have resulted in ever-improving outcomes and quality of life for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Treat to Target Rheumatoid Arthritis is a treatment philosophy that rheumatologists use to effectively manage this disease.